Grades K - Professional
App • Tour
Use a narrative "science tour" app for the drive up Mt. Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona. Travel from desert to pine forest, listening to the audio guide and watching slideshows and videos. Learn how our world is sustained by natural environments, systems, and cycles.
Describe the natural history of Mt. Lemmon with special attention to geology and biology. The tour follows the Catalina Highway to the top of Mt. Lemmon.
Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education • Research Community
Observatory: Catalina-Jemez CZO
Author: Producer: Shipherd Reed (Univ. of Arizona)
Funding: NSF CZO, Contributions from UA College of Science and other regional organizations
Grades 15 - 16
This 15-week upper-level undergraduate course introduces and examines the life-sustaining services and resources provided by the Critical Zone using publicly-available CZO data and literature. This course is hosted by InTeGrate SERC (Science Education Resource Center).
At the end of the course students will be able to:
Find additional information in the course's Instructor Materials.
Audience: Higher Education
Observatory: National CZO
Author: Timothy White (PSU), Adam Wymore (UNH), Ashlee Dere (UNO), Adam Hoffman (DBQ), James Washburne (UoA), Martha Conklin (UC Merced), Susan Gill (SWRC), Editor: David Gosselin (UNL)
Funding: National Science Foundation–funded SERC InTeGrate project
Grades 9 - 14
Information • Video
A short web page that answers questions like: what is the Critical Zone? Why it is so important? Why does it need to be studied? The page includes text, images, and video.
Be able to discuss where the Critical Zone fits on Earth's surface and its importance to Humans and all life.
Audience: K-12 • General Public • Higher Education
Observatory: National CZO • Boulder CZO • Calhoun CZO • Catalina-Jemez CZO • Christina CZO • Eel CZO • IML CZO • Luquillo CZO • Reynolds CZO • Shale Hills CZO • Sierra CZO
Author: CZO National Office
Grades 13 - 14
Grades 13 - 14
The Case of the Muddy Water uses authentic data to investigate the impacts of hydrofracturing. The objective of this lesson is to introduce the potential impacts of natural gas extraction through data analysis.
Conceptual Learning Outcomes
Practical Learning Outcomes
Audience: Higher Education
Observatory: Shale Hills CZO
Author: Sharon Dykhoff (Dominion Christian School), Susan Brantley (The Pennsylvania State University), and Liza Brazil (CUAHSI)
The most successful of these education activities has been the CZO International Scholars program. Through support from NSF-International Programs-Europe since 2007, 54 graduate students within and outside of the CZOs from 16 universities througout the United States have visited more than 20 European host institutions and field sites. In the process, the student travelers have broadened their scientific knowledge and perspective, availed of unique expertise and instrumentation not available in the U.S., and generated data sets to compare to information gathered from field sites and labs at or associated with the various U.S. CZOs. A compilation of abstracts and papers derived in whole or in part from this support is available under associated files (see below). The program will continue in 2015 through 2019 due to funds provided to the CZO National Office from an NSF Science Across Virtual Institutes grant.
A group of six CZO collaborators are currently working to develop a new undergraduate curriculum in Critical Zone science. Their effort is supported by the NSF-funded InTeGrate program and aims to develop a new semester-long course comprised of stand-alone, ~two-week long modules. The course has been fully developed and moved into the testing phase at 6 universites - in 2015 that course content will be available on the SERC website and here for anyone to use in their courses.
Tim White, as national coordinator, and Susan Gill, Stroud Water Research Center education director, developed a successful Research Experience for Undergraduates program that places 6 undergraduate students each at the Christina River Basin and Shale Hills CZOs during the summers of 2014 through 2016. The results of those REUs were presented at the 2014 biennial meeting of CUAHSI entitled Water Across the Critical Zone, and will soon be available for download here.
The higher education program has also been enriched by close CZO ties to its European counterpart, Soil Transformations in European Catchments (SoilTrEC), a research initiative that includes 4 CZOs in Europe. Each year SoilTrEC stages a variety of graduate student and post-doctoral research training workshops and meetings and graciously invites U.S. students and other participants, while the U.S. NSF has provided funds to support limited participation in some of those workshops. Most recently, 14 U.S. students, half from within and half from outside the formal CZO program, participated in a reactive transport modeling workshop held at the Technical University of Crete in July 2012.
U.S CZOs have also hosted European graduate students and post-doctoral researchers for training events. Here three graduates of the 2010 Critical Zone field school held at the Susquehanna-Shale Hills CZO, Georg Lair, Manos Kotronakis, and Taru Lehtinen, share a moment together in Crete at the annual meeting of SoilTrEC, October 2012.
(88 KB pdf)
List of abstracts and publications derived from International Scholars funding provided by the US NSF.
12 Jun 2019 (Calhoun, Shale Hills) - Five students travelled to Union, South Carolina for a two-day site visit June 6 – June 8 at the Calhoun CZO. This site visit was the...
18 May 2019 (Shale Hills) - Fifteen undergraduates from seven regional institutions arrived at University Park, along with graduate student mentors and faculty experts, to...
24 Apr 2019 (Shale Hills) - From characterising flow pathways in outcrops and the shallow subsurface to examining weathering processes and soil formation, three geoscience...
14 Nov 2018 (Calhoun) - How critical zone science unearths secrets: The new cross-disciplinary field of study concerns itself with the living skin of the Earth.